Alumni Applause

Lawrence Evans

February 22nd, 2018 by giving

Lawrence Evans is a New York based actor and casting consultant. He currently serves as Celebrity Coordinator for the National Black Theatre Festival.  Regional theatre credits include: Beautiful Star: An Appalachian Nativity, Fences (Triad Stage), Crumbs from the Table of Joy (Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse), The Exonerated, One Man, Two Guvnors, Ruined (Florida Studio Theatre), Clybourne Park, A Soldier’s Play, (Arkansas Repertory Theatre) Rip.Tied (freeFall Theatre), Take Me Out (Caldwell Theatre Company), Charlotte Repertory Theatre, North Carolina Black Repertory Company, Short North Stage. New York theatre credits: Black Stars of the Great White Way (Carnegie Hall), In a Clean House, Willie, Flat Street Sa’Day Nite, Monsieur Baptiste, the Con Man. National tours: And Still I Rise, (written and directed by Maya Angelou), The Sweet Spot with Clifton Davis and Ja’Net DuBois, Camp Logan. Television:  “All My Children,” “Another World,” “Ryan’s Hope,” “As the World Turns,” “One Life to Live,” “The Good Wife,” “Law & Order.” Film: “State Property II,” “The Devil Wears Prada.”  He studied theatre at Jackson State University and the University of Michigan.


New Federal Theatre: In White America, The Most Dangerous Man in America (W.E.B. DuBois), Accept "Except" LGBT NY, The Fabulous Miss Marie, In the Wine Time, Plenty of Time, Sowa's Red Gravy, Court-Martial at Fort Devens, Puberty Rites, Cool Blues, Knock Me a Kiss, Kernel of Sanity,The Toilet, "Salaam, Huey Newton, Salaam,"  Amarie, real black men don't sit crosslegged on the floor, The Taking of Miss Janie, Gutta Beautiful, Josh: The Black Babe Ruth, Satchel: A Requiem for Racism, Sweet Mama Stringbean; National Black Touring Circuit: Waitin' 2 End Hell; Billie Holiday Theatre: Maid's Door, Fati's Last Dance, The Waiting Room, The Right Reverend Dupree in Exile, What Would Jesus Do?, Losing the Light, Birthright; TheatreWorks Colorado Springs: Seven Guitars; Negro Ensemble Company: Martin: A New American Musical, Sundown Names and Night-Gone Things, With Aaron's Arms Around Me; Black Spectrum Theatre Company: Single Black Female; August Strindberg Repertory Theatre: Easter, Playing With Fire;  Juneteenth Legacy Theatre: Diana Sands, Billy, Lena and the Duke, Juneteenth Blues Cabaret, August Wilson's Women.


AUDELCO Nominating Committee
Actors’ Equity Association
American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA)
Canaan Baptist Church of Christ, Harlem, NY
Metro New York Chapter/JSU National Alumni Association
National Black Theatre Festival
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc
Screen Actors Guild (SAG)


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Dr. Barrett Hatches

February 5th, 2018 by giving

Dr. Barrett Hatches is an accomplished senior executive with over 35 years of experience in management, to include extensive work in the energy and healthcare sectors.

Dr. Hatches currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer for the Chicago Family Health Center (CFHC). In this position, he leads one of Chicago’s leading federally qualified health centers that provides care annually to over 30,000 uninsured and underinsured patients across the South Side of Chicago through its network of five primary care health centers, dental offices, and behavioral health services. Prior to joining CFHC Dr. Hatches provided leadership and directed operations in a multitude of executive positions: within SCE, Chief Operating Officer, Executive Vice President—Business Growth, and President/ CEO of Swope Health Services, a non-profit healthcare system.

Dr. Hatches previously served as President and CEO of Swope Health Services in Kansas City, MO, a non-profit federally qualified health center with 400 plus associates and clinics located throughout a five-county area in Missouri and Kansas. He was responsible for providing services to over 40,000 unduplicated patients with over 227,000 encounters in primary health care, behavioral health, dental, and outreach services.

Within the energy sector, Dr. Hatches has provided visionary leadership as President/ CEO of four Gas and/or Electric Companies. He served as President/CEO of Northern Indiana Public Service Company, while also serving as CEO of Northern Indiana Fuel and Light Company, and Kokomo Gas and Fuel Company, in Indiana. He was President/CEO of ENSTAR Natural Gas in Anchorage, AK, and served in senior management positions at SEMCO Energy, and Western Resources Gas Service Division.

He is the owner of Hatches Consulting, LLC which focuses on leadership development, performance technology, organizational and professional development, community relations and stakeholder management, executive coaching, business development, strategic planning and thinking, relationship management, financial development and performances, and customer service.

Dr. Hatches works with the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), providing technical assistance to health centers. He also serves as keynote speaker and workshop facilitator for many conferences on healthcare issues across the country. In addition to this, he provides webinars on healthcare topics along with providing technical assistance to healthcare CEOs around the country. As a catalyst for change he continues to work within his community as well as with local, state, and federal policy makers in focusing on healthcare and healthcare reform.

Dr. Hatches is a 1977 graduate of Jackson State University with a Bachelors of Science degree in Political Science, a 1995 graduate of Webster University with a Masters of Arts in Management, and a 2009 graduate of Jackson State University with a Ph.D. in Urban Leadership and Higher Education. He and his wife Ann have one daughter, C’Nea.

Posted in Alumni Applause

Honorable George Flaggs, Jr.

January 19th, 2018 by giving

The Honorable George Flaggs, Jr. is in his second term as mayor of the City of Vicksburg, MS. He first took the oath of office on June 30, 2013. In a six person race, Mayor Flaggs took 51.11% of the vote to win the Democratic Primary. One month later, Mayor Flaggs won the general election with 72% of the vote. Four years later, in the Democratic primary, he won with nearly 70% of the vote. Then, on June 6, 2017, George Flaggs defeated two challengers by garnering 79% of the vote to win re-election as Mayor of the City of Vicksburg for a second term.

Mayor Flaggs received an Associate of Arts Degree in Industrial Technology from Hinds Community College in 1981. He later received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Technology from Jackson State University in 1984. He was a member of the Mississippi House of Representatives, elected 1988. He served as Chair of the Corrections Committee and served on several committees including, Appropriations, Banking and Financial Services, Constitution, Legislative Budget Committee, Public Health and Human Services and Rules.

Mayor Flaggs is affiliated with Wisemen Toastmasters and Optimist Clubs. He is a former member of the Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals, Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Mayor Flaggs was born March 20, 1953, in Edwards, Mississippi. He is married to Valencia Renee. They have three children: Emmarie Genean, Brittany Anquinette, and Elliott George. The mayor also has four grandchildren: Nicholas George Anderson, Stephen Anderson Addison Anderson, and Lianne Marie Flaggs. Mayor Flaggs is of the Baptist faith.

In 2013, the mayor received The Network Distinguished Service & Leadership Award, The AT&T Business Advocate Award, and The Charles L. Young, Sr. Memorial Award – Mississippi Action for Progress. Also in 2013, Mayor Flaggs was the Grand Marshall for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade and the Christmas Parade of Lights, both in the City of Vicksburg, as well as the 2014 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade Celebration in the City of Jackson, MS. Also in 2014, Mayor Flaggs was appointed to the Governor’s Council of Mayors by Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, and was selected by the readers of the Vicksburg Post newspaper as the 2014 Best Elected Public Official. In 2015, Mayor Flaggs has been awarded The Reverend Henry L. Mayfield Community Service Award and the Magnolia Bar Association Harriet Tubman Award. Also in 2015, Mayor Flaggs was appointed a board member to the Willard Tyler, Sr. School of the Performing Arts; the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center; and the Jackson State University Institute of Government’s Advisory Board. He was also named by the Delta Business Journal as one of their 2015 Top Minorities. In 2016, Mayor Flaggs was selected as a winner of the MS Top 50 Most Influential award. In 2017, Mayor Flaggs has been appointed as a member of the Board of Directors to the Hinds Community College Foundation for a 3-year term beginning in January 2018.

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Tiffany R. Paige, Esq.

September 27th, 2017 by giving

Tiffany R. Paige (’02) was recently named Assistant Dean for Students Services at Mississippi College School of Law.  She previously served in the areas of diversity outreach and recruitment. Paige, who grew up in Raymond, Miss., majored in Biology. She received her law degree from Mississippi College School of Law and a master’s degree in library and information science from the University of Southern Mississippi. Paige is currently working on a Doctor of Philosophy degree in higher education administration at the University of Southern Mississippi. She is a member of the Byram-Terry Alumni Chapter.

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Earline Russell-Smith

August 28th, 2017 by giving

Holmes Community College Workforce Coordinator and Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Director Earline Russell-Smith was recently named district director of Adult Education/GED for the college.

"With all the changes in Adult Basic Educated mandated by changes in federal workforce legislation, I believe that Earline's experience with the Workforce Investment system in Mississippi will be invaluable in this time of transition," said Vice President of Workforce Development Dr. Mike Blankenship. "Earline also brings a desire to help people which is very important with the population served through Adult Basic Education."

Russell-Smith has worked with the Federal Workforce programs and Workforce Development since 1999. She also served as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) grant coordinator for the college. Holmes is one of five community colleges in the state participating in the grant program, which has given more than 3,000 SNAP (formerly called food stamps) recipients the opportunity to receive training and get a degree as part of a three-year pilot program. Russell-Smith increased the number of students obtaining financial aid grants for the college through WIOA and SNAPS, and SNAPS grant enrollment has doubled from the previous years.

Russell-Smith has also coordinated and promoted workforce training classes for the Yazoo Educational Center, Attala Center and Goodman Campus. She evaluated instructor's performances and the effectiveness of training programs, making recommendations to ensure all training needs were met.

Additionally, Russell-Smith served on the Work Ready Community Board for Holmes and Attala County, and prepared and managed workforce projects – including budgets – through the Mississippi Community College Board accountability system. She is also responsible for designing and implementing the Youth Workforce Academy, which engaged at-risk youth with soft skills and work experience to improve their employability. The program was used as a model for other youth programs in the Delta area.

"I'm excited that Earline is joining the Adult Education team as our District Director!" said Career Path Specialist Bronwyn Robertson. "It's as though she's been a part of us all along and this only makes it official. I have always found her to consistently exceed expectations in her interpersonal skills, support of staff and work ethic. I've had the opportunity to work with Earline on several projects and I also know her personally; she never fails to impress me with her positive attitude and encouragement. I am delighted that I'll be working with her again."

Prior to her employment with Holmes in July 2005, she worked as a workforce specialist with the Mississippi Department of Employment Security and as an educator with Chicago public schools.

A native of the Acona Community in Lexington, Russell-Smith currently resides in Coila. She earned her bachelor's degree in education from Jackson State University and her master's in education from Capella University. Russell-Smith is a member of Steele Chapel Independent Methodist Church where she serves as choir director and a youth leader. She and her husband, Holmes alumnus Prentiss Smith, have three children: Prentiss Jr., Trentiss and Erin. Prentiss Jr. is also a Holmes alum, Trentiss is a senior at J.Z. George High School and Erin is in eighth grade at George Middle.

For more information about the Holmes Adult Education/GED program, contact Russell-Smith at or (662) 472.9105. 

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Justin Hardiman

July 6th, 2017 by giving

Earlier this year, Justin Hardiman’s vibrant pictures of models at a natural hair show produced in part by Solange Knowles set the internet ablaze. Viewers had no idea who took the shots, but Hardiman doesn't seem to mind.

His focus is on displaying the many facets of black women and not a one-dimensional sexualized version that he feels is prominent in the fashion industry.





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Chauncey Citchens

July 6th, 2017 by giving

Congratulations to Chauncey Citchens on the release of her first book, "Meet McKenzie Mason"! In 2015 when her niece, McKenzie, asked for books for Christmas, Citchens was overjoyed that her niece shared the same interest in reading that she did as a child. Unfortunately, Citchens was unable to find a variety of books that featured black girls as leading characters. This was a challenge she also remembered facing as a child.

Inspired and determined to give her niece a story with a lead character she could identify with, Citchens picked up her childhood hobby of writing and wrote a story with her niece as the main character. What originally started as a story for just her niece, quickly turned into a full-on project when family and friends encouraged her to publish the book. Citchens hopes Meet McKenzie Mason will play a part in diversifying children’s books. She believes there is extreme value in children seeing characters, as well as authors, who look like them.

Meet McKenzie Mason is available on Amazon:

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Leonard N. Moore

June 7th, 2017 by giving

AUSTIN, Texas — Professor of History Leonard N. Moore has been named interim vice president for diversity and community engagement at The University of Texas at Austin. Moore has been the senior associate vice president for Diversity and Community Engagement since 2013 and will serve in the interim role as the university conducts a national search to fill the position, President Gregory L. Fenves announced in a letter to campus.

“As a scholar, Dr. Leonard Moore has boldly studied the intersections of race, history, race and politics in groundbreaking ways,” Fenves said. “As a teacher, he has challenged UT students to understand their world, to answer difficult questions and to seek truth in their studies and in their lives. And now, as interim vice president for diversity and community engagement, Dr. Moore will apply his expertise to strengthen our commitment to diversity and inclusion on campus and throughout the city of Austin. He is the ideal person for this job during an important time of transition for the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement.”

A faculty member at Texas since 2007, Moore in his current role manages about 30 programs and initiatives in the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE). He regularly teaches hundreds of students per semester, including a class on the Black Power movement and a course titled “Race in the age of Obama.” He has received numerous teaching awards and also directs study abroad programs in Beijing and Cape Town that have become national models for diversifying global education.

“I was born to be a teacher. Whenever I walk into a classroom at UT and see so many students from different backgrounds, I am reminded what a unique, diverse, and life-changing campus this is,” Moore said. “In my new role, I hope to reach even more students and to maintain and elevate the university’s commitment to diversity,  inclusion, and community engagement at this vital moment in the history of our nation.”

Moore will begin as interim vice president on July 17 and serve through the 2017-2018 academic year.  He will replace Gregory J. Vincent, the university’s first vice president for diversity and community engagement, who is leaving to become president of his alma mater, Hobart and William Smith Colleges in New York. The university will assemble a broad-based committee to identify and review candidates and consult with Fenves in the search for a permanent vice president.

UT Austin is a nationally recognized leader in promoting diversity in higher education. It was one of 13 U.S. universities honored as a 2016 Diversity Champion by INSIGHT into Diversity magazine. Earlier this year, the university developed a Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan that will serve as a blueprint for creating a more inclusive campus culture and embedding those efforts in all areas of university life.

Central to those initiatives is DDCE’s work in advancing socially just learning and working environments and fostering a culture of excellence through diverse people, ideas, and perspectives on campus. DDCE also develops community-university partnerships that foster connections between Austin and the university.

Moore is a native of Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his BA from Jackson State University in 1993 and his PhD from The Ohio State University in 1998. He was a history professor at Louisiana State University from 1998-2007, where he also directed the African and African American Studies Program and the Pre-Doctoral Scholar’s Institute.

At UT Austin, he serves as the George W. Littlefield Professor in American History and is also a Fellow of Lee and Joseph D. Jamail Chair in African American Studies.

He is the author of two books. His third book, The Defeat of Black Power: Civil Rights and the National Black Political Convention of 1972, will be published in early 2018. Moore currently serves as chair of the board of directors for the Austin Area Urban League. 

Posted in Alumni Applause

Keydron Guinn, PhD

June 6th, 2017 by giving

Keydron K. Guinn, PhD, serves as Vice President and Chief of Staff at the State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate Medical Center. Dr. Guinn reports directly to and serves as a principal deputy for management, policy and lead advisor to the President. As a member of the executive leadership team and President's cabinet, he works closely with other senior executives, Deans of the Colleges and Schools and serves as senior liaison for internal/external partners including: The Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health, the Brooklyn Center for Health Disparities and other institutional and community leadership organizations. He is a lead representative for the Downstate campus to the SUNY System and has oversight for several institutional functions and units. He also holds an associate professorship in the School of Public Health, Department of Health Policy and Management.

Prior to his current role, Dr. Guinn served as Associate Dean in the College of Liberal Arts at Morgan State University where he was responsible for administrative functions and student affairs issues. He assisted in the management of 11 academic units, development of the College's budget and served on numerous committees and initiatives throughout the University. He taught in the graduate sociology program at Morgan. Before joining Morgan, he served as Interim Dean in the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Solano Community College in Fairfield, California where he overcome a departmental deficit and managed five academic departments.

He has held leadership roles at Meharry Medical College (Nashville, TN), serving as Deputy Director and
later, Interim Executive Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy at
Meharry. In this role, he led a staff of eight, coordinated the Center's national research agenda and
worked closely with the National Advisory Committee (consisting of academic thought leaders in health
policy from renowned institutions such as: Meharry Medical College, Vanderbilt University, the University
of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Michigan, and Johns Hopkins University, to name a
few). He also managed an operating budget of nearly $4 million.

With the joint appointment of Assistant Dean in Meharry's School of Graduate Studies and Research, Dr.
Guinn helped to establish a certificate in health policy and led efforts to explore online academic
programs. He also held associate professorships in the Schools of Dentistry (Dental Public Health) and
Graduate Studies & Research where he taught courses in health policy and geriatric dentistry,

Prior to Meharry, Dr. Guinn served Southern University's Agricultural Research & Extension Center
(Baton Rouge, LA) as Rural Sociologist and later, Interim Director of the Southwest Center for Rural
Initiatives (Opelousas, LA) managing a state earmark of $750,000. He was responsible for community
programming that lead to educational programs for the seven-parish region related to heir property, endof-
life issues and numerous youth programs. Additionally, he taught graduate courses on the main
campus of Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA.

Dr. Guinn's career prior to higher education consisted of positions in non-profit and local governmental
organizations. These included the NAACP where he was a national staffer in the Health Advocacy
Division (Baltimore, MD) and the City of Jackson, MS holding the title of account executive with the
Jackson Convention and Visitors Bureau.

He is a former columnist who has published a host of editorials on social issues that have appeared in
several Gannett newspapers, the Vicksburg Post and the Louisiana Weekly. He has also published
academic works in the American Journal of Medicine and the Journal of Extension. Dr. Guinn has
delivered numerous public speeches an array of topics at national conferences around the country
including: American Public Health Association, Association of American Medical Colleges, American
Sociological Association, Association of Black Sociologists and the Southern Rural Sociological

A 1998 and 2001 graduate of Jackson State University, he received the BS and MA degrees in criminal
justice and sociology, respectively. He went on to earn the PhD at Wayne State University in medical
sociology (Detroit, MI). He is an active member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated and the
Jackson State University National Alumni Association. The Port Gibson High School (Port Gibson, MS)
graduate is currently completing the MBA at Missouri State University (Springfield, MO).

Posted in Alumni Applause

Latrice Rogers

April 11th, 2017 by giving

The Mississippi Small Business Association named Latrice Rogers, a Brandon resident and owner of Goddess Lengths Virgin Hair Bar (125 W. Northside Drive), as the recipient of the 2017 SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award last week. SBA will formally present Rogers with the award in a ceremony in May.

Goddess Lengths primarily provides hair extensions but also employs several makeup artists and stylists, and features hair-care products and other beauty items for sale. Rogers opened her shop in 2014 and has made more than $1 million since it opened.

"I never win anything like this, so receiving this kind of award from the SBA feels like a huge accomplishment for me," she says. "I've always been fascinated with beauty, and growing up, people would often compliment me on hair and clothing. I can just close my eyes, feel a person's hair and tell them all about it, so it wasn't much for me to just jump into this line of work where I can do something I love."




Posted in Alumni Applause